edouard francoisimage © designboom



designboom interviewed edouard françois on october 12, 2005.  



what is the best moment of the day?

the most private one: the pee moment.



what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?

the ring of my mobile phone (einstein on the beach).



edouard francois interview

left: ‘rosa verde’ lamp for luceplan, 2003a slim luminous tube made in borosilicate pirex glass that allows the control of light direction and colour.

right: ‘fouquet’s barrière’, hotel on the champs elysees, paris(to be completed in 2006) … with windows pierced through in new order.



do you listen to the radio?




what books do you have on your bedside table?

the bible!



do you read design magazines?

‘frame’ magazine and the magazines I am published in.



edouard francois interview

‘alliance francaise’ new-delhi, 2001



where do you get news from? newspapers?

friends. everywhere.



do you notice how women are dressing?


do you have any preferences?

yes. my favorite stylist is my girlfriend, CZ.



edouard francois interview

‘maquette’ a landskape labyrinth, colmar, france, 2002.



what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?

my girlfriend’s designs.



do you have any pets?

my girlfriend’s dog.



edouard francois interview

‘enjoy III’, view pictures ltd. london, uk (2002)interior project with cactuses as dividers.



when you were a child, did you want to be an architect?

I don’t really remember.



where do you work on your designs and projects?

even in my bed.



what project has given you the most satisfaction?

always the last one. in this case hotel chain fouquet.they told me to design a new hotel façade. I did a replica, in grey concrete, of the monumental façade of the fouquet hotel around the corner, a building of historical distinction. also the windows are replicated in concrete. but at ground-floor level the replicated façade seems to have been cut away to make space for large display windows.



edouard francois interview

 ‘tower flower’ paris, france, 1999.residential building disguised in bamboo trees.



edouard francois interview

detail of the ‘tower flower’ the bamboo trees and the random concrete mix with grey and with concrete.



beyond the tropical foliage, the ‘flower tower’ building is


almost entirely concrete, and permanent planting pots


are built-in with automatic irrigation and fertilizing system.


a self-sustaining bamboo garden?

yes, the flowerpots and balustrades are made of a concrete mix(ductal), that contains tiny metallic or organic fibers, silica fume, mineral fillers (nanofibers), and superplasticizer mixed with traditional concrete ingredients: cement, water, and sand. the result is a concrete that is strong and light and does not require steel reinforcement. the walls were poured completely randomly, some trucks would get on site with white concrete, others with regular gray concrete. this process had the effect of creating a two-toned ‘fuzzy’ look.



where does this passion for systems and methods


come from?

I am a scientist.



who would you like to design something for?

the president of the united states.



edouard francois interview

left: ’sprouting building’, montpellier, france (2000)exterior walls featuring rocks held in place by a stainless-steel net covered in plants.

right: detail of the ‘sprouting building’, montpellier, france (2000)



you once said you want your buildings to be invisible,


what do you mean by that?  

it is the art of the camouflage. a camouflage with a potential war machine behind it.



and keeping the natural aspect of the surroundings?

nature is a very important part of the context.



do you discuss your work with architects and designers?

not that much. but there are strong discussions with my collaborative design team.



edouard francois interview

left: ‘rural lodgings’, jupilles, france 1996, with duncan lewis

right: detail of the ‘rural lodgins’



describe your style, like a good friend of yours


would describe it.

green free styleplease describe an evolution in your work, from your first projects to the present day.in the beginning my projects were boring and now they are super projects!



is there any designer and/or architect from the past,


you appreciate a lot?

all the architectural and urban production is interesting.



and those still active, are there any particular ones


you appreciate?

they are all my friends…but personally I have no big interest in modern architecture. boring buildings aren’t my thing.



edouard francois interview

‘buffon schools’, thiais, france, 199, with duncan lewis



edouard francois interview

detail of the ‘rbuffon schools’



artists whose work inspired you?

tadashi kawamata, andy goldsworthy, donald judd, giuseppe penone, and wim delvoye.



you teach as well, any advice for the young ?

be free! do what you want without taking care of what your neighbours think. we’ve once more reached a moment in time that demands the formulation of new values and new meanings



what are you afraid of regarding the future?  

game over.